Tweet, BBM, IM, ICQ, Ping, Email, Post, Call, Fax (still) – all are methods of communication that allow us to correspond quickly and efficiently.
And they are all ways that allow us to answer questions, make our opinions known, get a point across and, in general, feel in control of the communications stream – 24/7.
To that end – we carry devices that enable our connectivity – Microsoft Windows based, Google platformed, Apple supported, Nokia sourced, RIM facilitated.
Our Smartphones, iPhones and BlackBerries are always on – instant response mechanisms that enhance our control and ability to respond instantly.
And we do! Do we ever!!!!
We get an email (or whatever) and before it’s finished loading we are answering; our fingers fly – they punch and push those keys and with a final flourish we hit send – knowing that we have fulfilled the expectation on the other side of instantaneous response and feeling good that we can.
I do it all the time.
And, sometimes it’s the right thing to do and a marvel, even a blessing, of our era – but sometimes it’s just not.
What I love is the ability to ask and answer fairly simple questions and receive, quickly, fairly simple and direct answers. Answers that require a Y or N, yea or nay, yes or no. Answers that let you know what time the movie starts, what street the restaurant is on and what wine you should bring to dinner.
What I hate are the too-quickly authored, long-winded opinions and polemics that way too often crowd our mailboxes, in response to messages that were distributed way too broadly and without much deep thinking. And where the answers somehow never seem to match the final outcome anyway – as if anyone could ever really follow the thread.
We answer quickly because we can. We answer in long form because we can. And we add name after name to the CC list because we can.
What we don’t do is thoughtfully write and craft as we once did. Take the time to consider a question, take the time to consider the response. And couch both in a format that states the issue, makes the case, clearly asks the question and succinctly presents the request.
This behavior that allows the “technology” to lead our IP as opposed to our intellect is evident in our presentations where the phrase “You can’t read the eye chart but…” and pages crammed with text reminiscent of War and Peace abound.
The beauty of our times is that we can do a lot – in fact, we do what others dreamed of – and therein lays the conundrum. Listen:
We live in an era when we can act – instantaneously. We think it and can have thousands see it or hear it in seconds – even milliseconds.
We live in an era where fame is measured in bytes and where longevity is measured in clicks.
What we are losing is our ability to inspire because we act so quickly that we don’t always take the time to dream.
I hear it from our clients; I hear it from my friends; I read it; I see it – we all want to be motivated, encouraged. We all want to be stirred to action, moved to achieve, whipped into a frenzy of satisfaction and accomplishment.
By all means – continue to respond quickly – I will – but every once in a while sit back, reflect, hold off on the trigger and dream – my sense is that we will all accomplish greater things.
What’s your view?